LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Unified school board has elevated arts to an essential “core” subject in the district’s curriculum, exempting it from further budget cuts.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to restore district funding for arts instruction to its 2007-08 level as part of the initiative to rebuild district-wide arts programming.

The nation’s second largest school district says more than half of its 688,000 students currently receive no arts instruction due to state funding cuts over the past five years.

Actors Cheech Marin and Monica Rosenthal appeared at the meeting to ask the board to support the arts initiative.

Board member Nury Martinez says the district’s arts curriculum falls significantly behind programs in other large, urban districts.

The new initiative calls for recruiting arts teachers.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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